Looking through the current City of Glass portfolio I was struck by the absence of alley photographs given the amount of time I've spent wandering them. The cramped spaces and towering facades present a challenge to my compositional strategies. In a similar vein, I was pondering how to tackle the cluttered ground level view of condominiums. These thoughts had the possibly counter-intuitive effect of motivating me to make some abstract photographs.
This abstract, minimal look is achieved by excluding most context. I enjoy making such abstracts. But, I've been avoiding them because I worry they are little more than clever exercises in composition.
As part of a project they may be more meaningful, because a new context is provided by the project. So I'm revisiting them in the context of City of Glass.
With such minimal photographs there is always the question of how little is too little.
"Grill Detail" (below) removes so much context it's nearly impossible to tell what you're looking at without being told. For the purposes of the City of Glass project I prefer photographs with a little more context.
"Column Detail" (above, from an apartment in the West End) may fall into the same category. But I like how it contrasts with "Backside of the Mark" (at the top, from a condo in Yaletown) to illustrate differences between the West End and Yaletown.